'No more excess revenue to tap'
Updated: Oct 18
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The newly signed law appropriating a $30 million government bailout for Guam Memorial Hospital will use up all of the excess revenues from the prior fiscal year’s general fund, hence this coffer can no longer be tapped for other purposes, Sen. Joe San Agustin said.
The excess revenues provide the funding for Bill 173-37, now Public Law 37-43, which infuses additional cash into GMH to cover the debts it owes vendors as well as the costs of emergency repairs to the facility.
Taking that into account, San Agustin said, the appropriation committee which he chairs, could not commit to another three-month extension of the Prugraman Ayuda Para I Taotao-ta Energy Credit.
“The credit program extension bill appropriates $15.8 million,” San Agustin said.
“During the emergency session on the GMH bill, the governor’s fiscal team members present provided guidance on the projections and disclosed that the remaining general fund unappropriated revenues would be fully appropriated within Bill 164-37," he added.
He said when he introduced the initial five-month energy credit program authorized by Public Law 36-106, the unappropriated excess general fund revenues existed.
“It also allowed us to extend the program for another 10 months with Public Laws 36-123 and 37-16," San Agustin said. “I appreciate the speaker’s advocacy to extend the program and I would support Bill 173-37, but we cannot see where else we would find the monies for the extension at this time, especially in the first month of a new fiscal year.”
As the chair of the appropriations committee, San Agustin said he is duty-bound to ensure that “we do not cause measures to move forward without appropriate funding sources, especially when we have already appropriated the same monies for another matter that the emergency session was called for.”